Internet Help Multiplies for the Carless on the Go
By THOMAS J. LUECK
Published: July 16, 2006
Getting from here to there using the Internet has become almost routine with Web sites like Mapquest and Google maps. Many drivers are also using satellite technology linked to computer mapping systems in their cars to guide them to their destinations. In the New York City area, where public transportation is paramount, Internet maps for subways, trains, buses and ferries in the city and the region have become a growth industry.And the competition is intensifying. These Web sites began appearing in late 2004 with HopStop.com, which provides directions throughout the city using most forms of public transit. Last year Trips123.com arrived, sponsored by a consortium of 16 public transportation and law enforcement agencies in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and providing detailed itineraries on dozens of public and private carriers across the region, including private bus lines and commuter trains. Trips123 won instant praise for thoroughness and detail, but was criticized on ease of use and is being revamped. A simpler version is to be issued in the fall.One of the latest sites to join the fray is PublicRoutes.com, which went online in June and provides directions by knitting together various modes of public transit not just across....